Hanson calls for plebiscite to ban burqa

Pauline Hanson, who caused controversy by wearing a burqa into the Senate chamber, wants a plebiscite on whether to ban the garment.

Pauline Hanson has called for a plebiscite on whether to ban the burqa, labelling Australia "pathetic" for giving up its values to allow the Muslim garment.

The Senate is debating a private bill from crossbencher Jacqui Lambie on Thursday to ban full-face coverings in commonwealth jurisdictions such as airports, as well as the ACT and Northern Territory.

"Are we that pathetic as a nation that we're giving up our values and who we truly are because we're worried about hurting someone's feelings?" Senator Hanson told parliament.

The One Nation leader, who caused controversy in August by wearing a burqa into the Senate chamber, described the burqa as offensive.

She insisted it had been banned in many countries, including Muslim countries, and Australia needed to change its ways before it became a "basket case".

"If you're quite happy to have a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, then I suggest having a plebiscite and let the people have a say at the next election on whether they want full-face coverings in this country, if you haven't got the guts to do it here," she said.

"We have fought for women's rights in this country... yet you're not prepared to stand up and fight for the rights of these women who are probably made to wear these garments."

Conservative crossbencher Cory Bernardi went further, suggesting terror threats could be identified by targeting those wearing the garment.

He described the burqa as a "flag of fundamentalism", insisting those who wear it are directly challenging Australian values.

"If you want to identify where the radical threats are in your society, look for the individual wearing the burqa," he said.

"No moderate Muslim wears the burqa. They are fundamentalists."

It was also a dehumanising garment that reduced women to the property of their husbands, and those migrating to Australia should not come here to recreate the life they left, Senator Bernardi said.

"This is a cultural export from the woman-hating regime in Saudi Arabia," he said.

"It sends a message to every Australian - `I do not want to be part of you'."

2 min read
Published 14 September 2017 at 12:40pm
Source: AAP